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Video via @NIJC: Wish for Holidays = End Enforcement Policies that Tear Apart Families

December 17, 2011

Reposted from NIJC:

This holiday season, more than 5,000 children across the United States wrote to President Obama asking for him to make their wish a reality: that no more families be torn apart by deportation and detention. NIJC co-sponsored the “A Wish for the Holidays” campaign and submitted letters written by clients and their families.

Last week, Sumeya, the 13-year-old daughter of one of NIJC’s former clients, joined a delegation to deliver the letters to Congress. In the video above, Sumeya shares her family’s story during a press conference on Capitol Hill. She explains that she and her mother and two siblings were forced to wait in Somalia for seven years while her father applied for asylum in the United States. “It took an emotional toll on us not to be able to see our father,” Sumeya says. “All those times we felt incomplete, like a piece of a puzzle was missing. … We have a complete family now.” Click here to read Sumeya’s letter to President Obama.

Eighteen-year-old Izamar, the daughter of an NIJC client currently in deportation proceedings, spoke about her family’s fear of separation during a telephonic press conference announcing the campaign. The police stopped Izamar’s father for driving with a broken tail light and reported him to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after discovering he is undocumented. “It distresses me greatly to see this going on with my father,” says Izamar in her letter to President Obama. “It has changed my whole life and my family’s life as well. I am afraid just to think that he will not be with us. I sometimes can’t sleep, eat, think, or do anything… I am overwhelmed with pride because I get to call this man my father and I am asking you to help him.” Click here to read Izamar’s letter to President Obama.

The Obama administration has deported more than one million immigrants and detains thousands of others on a daily basis. We hope these children’s letters will challenge President Obama to recognize the destructive impact of his administration’s immigration policies and finally prompt him to turn to policies that keep families together and make our country stronger.]

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